Packers Fence Promotes Giving Blood

Click HERE for full article in the Green Bay Press Gazette

Christopher Handler said he received between 900 and 1,000 suggestions for the slogan he planned to paint on a fence that faced Lombardi Avenue.

But it was his own inspiration after giving blood to the Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross 10 days ago that prompted the Green Bay painter to go with “PACKER FANS BLEED GREEN and GOLD” on the fence owned by Shadow Lane resident Luke Ziolkowski.

“Thinking about what the Red Cross does and the fact that today the focal point is on 9/11, it seemed like a good idea to emphasize something about helping others,” Handler said Saturday as he prepared to paint the fence. “Everyone can win by giving blood.”

Looking Back: Carl DuCharme, Red Cross Volunteer on his Deployment for 9/11

Carl DuCharme was deployed to NYC as a Red Cross Volunteer to respond to the tragedy of 9/11. While he was there, he wrote about his experiance, his thoughts, emotions and the scene around him. Read about his experiance first hand.

September 21, 2001

Carl DuCharme at the airport getting ready to leave to NYC.

The experience of this disaster relief effort started with the trip through the air travel system. Even though things seemed to be back to normal (or at least close to normal), the story told by the nearly-empty planes and sparsely-populated airports told a different story: the terrorists had taken their toll on all of America. My ride from Cincinnati to New York was on a Boeing 767, the exact model used to topple the World Trade Center towers. Once again seeing firsthand the incredible size and power of this aircraft brought to mind the types of images the passengers and onlookers in New York must have been caught in.

On the way into New York, the pilot took us on a route seemingly similar to that flown by the terrorists, passing to the south of the towers and then circling back northward. Even then, being so far away from the actual scene and yet being able to see below the smoldering rubble and those working so hard to remove it, it became obvious how real this attack was and how large an operation it is to clean up after it and recover from it.

The Red Cross operation here currently has around 7600 persons involved in the many different functions needed in a national disaster relief operation. Groups continue to arrive from across the country, as the needs continue to grow with the reality of the situation bearing heavy on the people of New York and from around the country.

The main headquarters for this operation is located at the Red Cross chapter building in Brooklyn, just across the Brooklyn bridge to the East of Manhattan. All staff are required to report their for check-in, for debriefing, and for receipt of assignments. There are also two service centers in operation (and the opening of a third pending) for help in aiding all those affected by last Tuesday’s events.

I, being a multilingual Family Service Specialist, have been assigned to the second shift of the Red Cross hotline operation. The hotline functions as a central information source for anyone looking to the Red Cross for assistance in any way. Service center two is located only about nine blocks from ground zero (the exact location of the World Trade Center). The hotline is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so we have three shifts occupying a bank of thirty phones.

We, as a hotline team, are just settling into our routine and will continue to become more and more efficient in our aiding the community each day.

September 26, 2001

As the disaster relief operation continues, the Red Cross continually repositions its resources to best service the needs of the community. The shelters have recently been closed, with the need for short-term housing (for those displaced from their home or for those that traveled to New York to await word of a loved one) being fulfilled by hotel rooms or other accommodations. Some people that had been evacuated from their home have since been allowed to return there.

The site itself (ground zero) is still considered a crime scene. This fact dictates that security remain stringent around the perimeter. All personnel involved in the disaster relief, including Red Cross personnel, have been issued an FBI identification badge which also outlines full,
limited, or no access to ground zero.

The utilization of the Red Cross hotline has increased, and calls are coming in around the clock. Donations also continue to roll in, as people want to help in any way they can.

Signs of hope and support draped across this NY fire truck

I had spent several days as a part of the hotline crew, both on second and third shifts. Two days ago, I was transferred to Family Services Special Projects Fire Department Outreach. A team of eight of us have been travelling to more remote parts of New York (Queens, Staten Island) to act as front-line grievance support for the spouses of the missing firefighters (and for those firefighters that worked alongside those missing). We will continue to listen to their stories, provide financial support, and offer whatever comfort we can until the need no longer exists.

Other outreach teams continue to offer financial support (along with referrals to other Red Cross functions as required) to those affected by the disaster. This is being accomplished through the three service centers that have been set up, through temporary sites to which clients are able to come, and through home visits. Again, the teams will be in place until the
need longer exists.

Each day presents many opportunities to help people on many levels. As the needs change, so does the service provided by the Red Cross.

October 1, 2001

It is now four weeks since the 11 September event.  The American Red Cross relief operation continues to service the needs of those affected around the country.  Here in New York, the atmosphere has changed slightly as a result of the military action in Afghanistan.  Security is visibly tighter everywhere, people are seemingly more cautious, and the struggle to recover from the original event is now coupled with apprehension and uncertainty about the future. 

 More Red Cross personnel continue to transition into the relief operation as the first groups to arrive on the scene are heading back home.  The location of service centers is also changing, as the needs of people in a certain area are fulfilled and those of others in different areas require additional attention.  The operation of which I am a part (on Staten Island) has expanded from a specialized team helping the families of the missing and fallen fire personnel to a full service center  helping anyone affected on that day. 

Each Red Cross member is developing the set of memories that constitute the experience had here and will forever carry images and thoughts of the past weeks.  The thoughts of returning home are coupled not only with a guilt that one should stay and do more but also with a satisfaction of having the honor of being a part of the greatest relief operation in the history of the United States.

Each member will also take home life lessons learned.  The sharing of experiences will help to educate the population on the reality of these events and will increase the understanding of the things in life that really matter.  Even though it is difficult to sum up the entire experience into a single lesson learned, the best I have to offer is the following:

 Make your time here as valuable and meaningful as you can… and live every day.


Carl DuCharme, American Red Cross Disaster Volunteer

How did September 11, 2001 Change Your Life?

September 11th, 2001 will be a day that many of us will remember for the rest of our lives. Where we were, who we were with, and how we were impacted. Barbara Behling, Regional Community Development Officer, for the American Red Cross Northeast WI Region shares her story of where she was, who she was with and how that day continues to make an impact in her life.

By: Barbara Behling

On September 11th, I was driving to work like normal…until…The radio stations started announcing a plane-crash. I turned the station as my sister is a flight attendant and always dread such news knowing that families will receive a dreaded call.

 I arrived at my small business employer at the time and the receptionist asked “what do we do?”  “About what?” I inquired. She directed me into our training center with large screen TV where the staff was glued, riveted almost paralyzed by the images of the second tower plummeting to the ground. At the time, our CEO was at a conference in New York.

An hour or so later, I’ll never forget the foreshadowing as a plane was missing. When it went down in field in Pennsylvania, I said to the company founder, “someone on that plane was a hero” He went home to hug the kids. I was still riveted by the TV images. Profound, deep, anguish and helplessness ran through my veins. “What do I do now?” I asked myself.

Our restaurant chain participated in a Day of Caring sponsored by the National & Wisconsin Restaurant Association to raise funds. I felt good – but not enough.

A few months later, I was asked to participate in a photo-op at the American Red Cross – Badger Chapter in Madison, Wisconsin. While there, I stayed for what they call a Disaster Action Team meeting as it sounded interesting. It also tied into my professional role as crisis communicator for my company. What I heard, experienced, felt, was deep, passionate and powerful. Volunteers and staff from around the area were deployed to ground zero, the neighboring New York Chapters and several points in-between. The deep, profound, helplessness ran through my veins again. “I must do more” I said to myself.

 After dozens of classes, hours of volunteer service and both local and national deployments, “I am doing more”. While my words can not convey what Red Cross volunteers experienced first hand, I now have small taste of the sorrow and bittersweet endings through my veins.  As I remember 9/11, it pushed me to do more, be a better neighbor, give of my time, talent and compassion to this amazing country of ours.

Hole-in-One at the Sixth Annual Door-Kewaunee Golf Classic

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter held its 6th Annual Door-Kewaunee Golf Classic on Monday, August 30, 2010 for the first time at The Orchards at Egg Harbor. We were proud to have American Transmission Company join us for the second year as our major sponsor of the event.

The day got off to an exciting start with Pete Peterson of John Henry’s Restaurant (pictured right) getting a Hole-in-One on the 11th hole. “This is the first time I’ve witnessed a hole-in-one,” said Jack Flemal, Red Cross Volunteer at the hole on the green. “He (Peterson) didn’t know at first he got it in so he asked me if I saw his ball. I said –“Look in the hole!” All hole-in-one prizes were sponsored by Witt Ford. Peterson won a vacation package for 3days/2nights to the Peabody in Memphis, TN.

We also thank our other contributing sponsors including: Dinner Sponsor – Nicolet National Bank; Lunch Sponsor –Schreiber Foods; Cart Sponsor – Dominion Energy, Kewaunee

Joining us this year were 28 teams for the 18-hole scramble event. The day of golf concluded with dinner and awards.

Taking first place this year was Bridenhagen Tree & Landscape – Team captain, Ivan Bridenhagen. (pictured above)

“We are very grateful for our wonderful sponsors and participants for their generous support of this successful fundraising event,” said Steve Maricque, Lakeland Chapter Executive Director. “It’s with their help that we are able to provide needed services within our service area. Additional thanks go out to our many volunteers that helped represent the Red Cross during the event.”

The $27,000 raised from the Door-Kewaunee Golf Classic will go to support services for Door and Kewaunee County (two of the eight counties we serve) Those services include families affected by disasters, emergency communication to military families and their loved ones, rides for those 60 and over and those with disabilities get to medical, nutrition and employment needs (Door County), and continue to provide life-saving training classes for people in our community.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

2nd Annual Packers Blood Drive a Huge Success

Nearly 250 people show up to support the Red Cross, 207 pints of blood donated

On Monday, August 30 the American Red Cross and the Green Bay Packers teamed up for the 2010 Packers Training Camp Blood Drive. The community response was overwhelming with 207 pints of blood donated through the Red Cross during the 7-hour event.

“Many Packer fans are dedicated donors and helped boost the blood supply leading into the Labor Day weekend,” said Dave Liethen, American Red Cross donor recruitment representative. “However, the need for blood doesn’t stop with the end of Packers training camp.”

The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to donate at upcoming area blood drives to help ensure sufficient blood supplies before and after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Through September 10, all presenting blood and platelet donors will be eligible to win a $500 gas card.

All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient supply for patients in need, especially types O negative and A negative. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. To find a blood drive near you, visit or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

Click HERE to see additional photos from the Packers Training Camp Blood Drive.

Red Cross Preparing for Hurricane Earl from North Carolina to New England

The American Red Cross is ready to respond to Hurricane Earl from North Carolina to New England, preparing to open shelters and feed those affected by the Category 3 storm that is bearing down on the United States, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds blowing at 125 mph.

“We are making preparations for Earl’s landfall, and we urge everyone who may be in the path of the storm to also get prepared and follow the instructions of local authorities about evacuating,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “Indications are that the storm will affect those who are miles inland from the coast. Being ready is your best protection against a storm like this.”

All along the eastern seaboard, the Red Cross is working with various state, county and local government officials to determine what their areas will need. Emergency planning is taking place in North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  

In North Carolina, evacuation orders have been issued for some of the barrier islands.  Earl could arrive in the state by late Thursday or early Friday, and the Red Cross has 14 shelters ready to open with more than 80 additional shelter sites identified if needed.  Updated shelter location information is readily available on the Red Cross website by clicking “Find a Shelter.”

People who are evacuating can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website, accessible at, so that friends and relatives can find out how they are. For those who don’t have internet access, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information. 

The Red Cross has trained disaster workers from across the country on alert to help respond to Hurricane Earl. Nearly 40 Red Cross mobile response vehicles will arrive in North Carolina today, part of more than 150 of these response vehicles put on alert to  travel to the East Coast from as far away from the coast as Michigan and Wisconsin. 

The Red Cross has four warehouses stocked with relief supplies are on stand-by, and two trailers of relief supplies are en route to North Carolina, carrying clean-up kits, tarps, work gloves, comfort kits, and trash bags.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Warning for the East Coast from Bogue Inlet, North Carolina to southern Virginia.  A Hurricane Watch has been extended northward from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Henlopen, Delaware.  Residents all along the coast all the way to New England are cautioned to pay attention to the storm. Other areas of North Carolina are under a Tropical Storm Watch. 

A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours and anyone in the warning area should complete their storm preparations and leave the area if told to do so by authorities.  A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within the next 48 hours and people should be ready to act if a Hurricane Warning is issued.

If someone’s community is under a Hurricane Warning or Watch, they should listen for critical information from the National Weather Service.  Other steps they should take include:

  • Check disaster supplies and restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters.  If hurricane shutters aren’t available, board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Fill the car’s gas tank.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Make plans for any pets.
  • Evacuate if authorities advise to do so.

More information about what people can do if they are in the projected path of the storm can be found at

The storms in the Atlantic Ocean are causing powerful rip currents.  The Red Cross advises anyone visiting the shore areas to swim only on lifeguard protected beaches and within designated swimming areas.

To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by this storm and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  The storm may also impact blood collections in the affected areas. To find out how you can be a blood donor, visit

 About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Video: Hurricane Earl Update 9/1/2010

September 2010 is National Preparedness Month; Red Cross Urges People to Get Prepared

Many people in this country have experienced a significant crisis in their home or neighborhood, but less than half of the people surveyed by the American Red Cross have taken steps to be prepared for emergencies.

September 2010 is National Preparedness Month, a time set aside for the last seven years to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.  The Red Cross urges everyone to take steps now to be ready when emergencies happen. 

In a survey conducted late last summer, the Red Cross found that although 89 percent of those surveyed believe being prepared is important, far fewer people are ready for when that happens.  Twenty percent of those surveyed have not done anything to get prepared, and aren’t sure where to get started.

“Being prepared today can save lives tomorrow,” said Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive.  “You are your best defense against emergencies.  The Red Cross can show you what simple steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.”

There are three things people should do to be prepared – build an emergency preparedness kit, make a plan as to what your family will do in an emergency, and be informed about what resources are available in your community and what types of disasters could occur there.

Your emergency preparedness kit should contain enough supplies for three days in case you need to evacuate.  The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home. Supplies should include water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents.

Your emergency plan should be a joint effort, including the members of your household.  Make sure each person knows how to reach household members, including an out-of-area emergency contact person, and knows where to meet if they can’t go home.

Being informed is important.  Learn about what resources are available and what types of disasters are most likely to occur where you live, learn, work and play. Take a first aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

 You can also give blood to help keep your community prepared.  It is the blood already donated and available on hospital shelves that is available in an emergency.  To give blood, you must be healthy, be at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds.  Some states allow 16-year-olds to donate with parental consent.  If you have given blood before, it must be 56 days since your last donation.  For more information on giving blood, visit   

All Red Cross Chapters are urging area residents to make a renewed effort in September to prepare for emergencies such as fires, floods or storms.  The Red Cross has created a free online education program to make it easier for people to get prepared. The Be Red Cross Ready program walks people through three key preparedness steps: getting an emergency kit, making an emergency plan and being informed.

 A few of the specific programs happening throughout the Region include:

* Disaster Action Team volunteer, Joyce Keyes continues work on the Disaster Advisory Council.  The Fond du Lac area is one of Chapters nationwide piloting a Jumpstart to Recovery Kit and “Moving Forward After a Disaster” booklets.  She is from one of the 15 Chapters whose representatives were selected from around the nation to serve on committee to review prevention, preparedness and response policies and procedures.  Within the past month, a Director from our National Headquarters was in Fond du Lac to the training required for this project. 

* On Saturday, September 11th, the Scenic Shores Chapter partners with the Two Rivers Fire Department and Point Beach Nuclear Plan (Next Era Energy) to train Boy Scouts from cities throughout the Region for their “Emergency Preparedness” Badge. The plant also sponsors a Disaster Supplies Kit, assembled by the Red Cross, for each troop for them to use as an example. Last year, 100 Scouts participated and they were given information on all three Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit components. In addition, each participant will take home a kit containing items such as canned food (with the pop top lids so you don’t need a can opener), bottled water, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a whistle, a dust mask, hand sanitizer, garbage bags, toilet paper, and a complete list of items they should include in their own kits. 

* Offices in Iron Mountain, Michigan and the Oshkosh, Wisconsin office have just completed Disaster Exercises. The first with the regional airport and the latter in collaboration with Winnebago County Emergency Management with simulated disaster event at UW Oshkosh. 

* Additional programs, partnerships and training are happening throughout the Region, please check with your local Chapter for additional details.

 The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four Chapters serving 20 counties by providing relief to victims of disaster and helping people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. This regional grouping strives to maintain both consistency and momentum in serving this purpose across the multiple Chapters including the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland Chapter, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapter.  For more information about local activities during National Preparedness Month, contact your local Chapter or by visiting our regional website

(1)  The general preparedness findings are based on an online survey of 1,306 U.S. residents 18 years and older conducted July 24-August 7, 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Red Cross.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Back to School 101: Be Prepared

A new school year is a fresh start for both kids and parents. And it’s the perfect time to make sure the whole family is prepared for emergencies and other unexpected events.

Has your family talked about what you would do in a disaster or emergency situation? Planning will give everyone some peace of mind, and will help ease those “what if?” worries.  

Get a Kit
Put together a disaster supplies kit, and involve your kids in the process. Download a list of supplies you should have and assemble them together.

Make a Plan
Sit down with your family and discuss what you would do in an emergency:

  • Decide how you would reach other family members and where to meet if they can’t return home.
  • Designate an out-of-area relative or friend as an emergency contact and make sure all household members know how to contact this person.
  • Make an evacuation plan by choosing two meeting places: one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
  • Decide where you would go and what route you would take if you had to evacuate. Make sure to also plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

Be Informed
What kind of emergencies or natural disasters are most common in your area? Take time to learn about these events with your children so that your whole family knows what to expect and how to prepare.

Print out emergency contact cards for each member of your family, and have them carry the card with them at all times in case of a disaster or other emergency.

Additional Tips for Kids in School
Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time. It’s important to be prepared in case one occurs while your child is in school.

  • When the new school year begins, talk to your child’s teacher or school principal about the school’s emergency plan.
  • Remind your child that the most important thing they can do if an emergency happens at school is to stay calm and listen to the direction of their teachers or principal.
  • Tape a copy of your family’s contact numbers and meeting place(s) to the inside of your child’s binder or homework notebook and in their book bag.

To get further prepared, take a Red Cross course—every year, millions of people learn how to help their families, coworkers and neighbors with first aid and CPR/AED training.  

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at